The Mmmm Process

Make Many Marvelous Meanings

Turbo Charged Reframing


In his very funny book Driving Your Own Karma (p 68) Swami Beyondananda says,


            ‘When you see people whispering to each other at the next table at a restaurant, are you convinced that they are whispering about you? 

They are, you know.  They are saying,

“Get a load of that beautiful beaming beacon of God light over  there at the next table!” 

Even if they aren’t imagining that then it sure does feel good to imagine it.


A meaning reframe is a way of offering a new meaning to some event that has happened.  Another point of view from which the feeling could be entirely different .   For example, I could be busy trying to write a semi-sensible article about NLP, to a very tight time frame, and my cat comes along and jumps up on my shoulder and digs the claws in while maintaining a steady purr.  I think to myself, ‘This blimmin moggy is trying to control me and get an early tea’, and then I feel irritated.  The alert practitioner will detect that present in the structure of the languaging of the internal dialogue is a mind read (or a select ional restriction violation, depending on how anthropomorphic you are!). 

So, in a nutshell, I have mind read something and got myself irritated.  Conversly, I could think to myself ‘She loves me and wants some attention.’  That makes me feel warm and nice.  Yet, it’s all made up by me.


Consider this then.  If you can imagine things and get a strong feeling, then why shouldn’t you imagine something that at least feels good?  Preferably something that gives you a giggle.  Given that humans have a tendancy to mind read and make meanings out stuff and get feelings, why not use that to our advantage in a structured way. 


Meaning Re-framing is the name we give in NLP to finding an alternate meaning that an event could have.  Traditional reframing has a couple of significant limitations.  The first is that we only offer generally one reframe for consideration.  What kind of service is that!!  Imagine going out for tea and there’s only one choice.  You’d wonder why you bothered!  I prefer my clients to experience a lot more choice than that!  A buffet of potential meanings! 


The second, and most important of the limitations to traditional meaning reframing is that the re-frames  are generally offered from the facilitators model of the world.  Sometimes the ‘fit’ to the clients model is helpful, sometimes not.  If the client participates in the creation of the reframes then a fit is much more likely.


Another significant factor in The Mmmm Process is that if humor is generated   as one considers the problematic situation then a collapsing of anchors type change can also occur.


An Example:  I was in conversation with a client about a situation where the client had been in a small group where one person had come in to give advice.  My clients view of the advising persons face was blocked by furniture, so he moved his chair to see the advising persons face as they spoke.  Very soon after that the advising person moved to another position where, again,  my client could not see his face.  My client said he felt that the advising person clearly couldn’t stand the sight of him!!  This was a problematic mind read and my client had been stewing about it a fair bit and losing sleep.


We set about creating alternate meanings and came up with heaps of possible meanings for that scenario.  We had a good laugh with a couple of them, especially one where we imagined that the advising person could be trying to hide their acne.  Also that the advising person could be lustful and view blocking could reduce that lust.  Other meanings included possible total lack of awareness, and the advising person being self centered. Perhaps the advising person has a form of autism?  Perhaps they had a headache and were avoiding the light? 


At the end of the brainstorm we had had a good laugh. Given that all the meanings are made up, I assisted the client to check which one felt the best.  The client liked the hiding the pimples meaning, it made him laugh even to think about the original situation now.  He reported that the ecology of the change was fine.


Here’s how you do it.


The Make Many Marvelous Meanings (Mmmm) Process


1.  Notice the situation where mind read has occurred or meaning has been made that feels bad.


2.  Pre-frame the notion that as there is a feeling, in response to uncertain idea, about what has really occurred, then they could consider another uncertain or unreal idea that feels better, in order to be happier now.


3. Brainstorm together, at least 6 or 8 alternative meanings, some of which could be funny, some more real, to the situation.  The more the better.  Quantity not quality!


4. The person chooses the meaning  that feels the best.  N.B.  Feels the best. Not seems the more likely or real. 

The meaning that feels the best.


5.  Thinking of the fun meaning and enjoy the change of emotional state, knowing that the meanings are all made up anyway!